Many studies have reported a significant association between childhood maltreatment and substance use in young adulthood. However, the specific mechanisms connecting childhood maltreatment with substance use in young adulthood remains poorly understood. The overall goal of this study is to examine whether the association is mediated by individual self-regulation processes. Since young people have much greater freedom from social control and parental monitoring during young adulthood than they ever did in the past, clarity about the role of self-regulation is central to our understanding of escalated substance use in young adulthood among victims of childhood maltreatment. If self-regulation can be identified as a mechanism through which exposure to childhood maltreatment influences substance use later in young adulthood, and key aspects of self-regulation processes can be specified, new intervention approaches can be developed. Unique novel features of this study include an emphasis on emotional self-regulation which has been overlooked in addiction research, a comprehensive four-dimensional conception of self-regulation (i.e., good emotional self-regulation, poor emotional self-regulation, good behavioral self-regulation, and poor behavioral self-regulation) in contrast to other research that focuses on only one or two dimensions, and comprehensive measures of childhood maltreatment including timing, duration, severity, and types of maltreatment. Using a community sample of 160 medically healthy young adults (ages 18-25), half with exposure to childhood maltreatment (N=80), and half without exposure to childhood maltreatment (N=80), this study has the following aims: (1) To examine if the presence of childhood maltreatment is associated with poor emotional and/or behavioral self-regulation processes;2) To investigate if poor emotional and/or behavioral self-regulation processes are associated with substance use in young adulthood;and 3) To examine if the association between childhood maltreatment and substance use in young adulthood are mediated by emotional and/or behavioral self-regulation processes. For more rigorous evaluation of the role of four types of self-regulation processes in understanding childhood maltreatment and substance use comorbidity in young adulthood, we also test alternative mechanisms including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and antisocial behavior. The findings of the current study help to explain which of four types of self-regulation are more predictive of substance use in young adulthood.

Public Health Relevance

This research is designed to elucidate the relationship between exposure to childhood maltreatment and substance use in young adulthood. The primary factor postulated to link this relationship is individual self- regulation capacities. The results of this research will help determine intervention targets to prevent substance use in young adulthood by enhancing maltreated individuals'self-regulation processes.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Type
Small Research Grants (R03)
Project #
5R03DA030884-02
Application #
8136642
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IFCN-L (50))
Program Officer
Weinberg, Naimah Z
Project Start
2010-09-01
Project End
2012-08-31
Budget Start
2011-09-01
Budget End
2012-08-31
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$39,657
Indirect Cost
Name
Boston University
Department
Type
Schools of Social Work
DUNS #
049435266
City
Boston
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02215
Shin, Sunny H; McDonald, Shelby Elaine; Conley, David (2017) Patterns of adverse childhood experiences and substance use among young adults: A latent class analysis. Addict Behav 78:187-192
Shin, Sunny H; Chung, Yeonseung; Rosenberg, Rachel D (2016) Identifying Sensitive Periods for Alcohol Use: The Roles of Timing and Chronicity of Child Physical Abuse. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 40:1020-9
Shin, Sunny H; Cook, Amy K; Morris, Nancy A et al. (2016) The different faces of impulsivity as links between childhood maltreatment and young adult crime. Prev Med 88:210-7
Shin, Sunny H; Hassamal, Sameer; Groves, Lauren Peasley (2015) Examining the role of psychological distress in linking childhood maltreatment and alcohol use in young adulthood. Am J Addict 24:628-36
Shin, Sunny H; Lee, Sungkyu; Jeon, Sae-Mi et al. (2015) Childhood emotional abuse, negative emotion-driven impulsivity, and alcohol use in young adulthood. Child Abuse Negl 50:94-103
Shin, Sunny Hyucksun; Chung, Yeonseung; Jeon, Sae-Mi (2013) Impulsivity and substance use in young adulthood. Am J Addict 22:39-45
Shin, Sunny Hyucksun; Hong, Hyokyoung Grace; Jeon, Sae-Mi (2012) Personality and alcohol use: the role of impulsivity. Addict Behav 37:102-7